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Earthworms

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Earthworms improve soil conditions through aeration by burrowing in pursuit of food. This constant aeration of the soil results in less evaporation and surface run-off, thereby providing for more efficient use of moisture introduced to the soil.

Each earthworm ingests its weight in organic matter every twenty four hours. Its intricate digestive tract makes it possible for the earthworms to excrete highly nutritious fertilizer known as castings. These castings are the most perfect plant food known to man, and contain: 5 times the available nitrogen, 7 times the available phosphorus, 3 times the exchangeable magnesium, 11 times the available potash, and 11/2 times more calcium than found in six inches of good topsoil. The increases are directly attributable to the organic matter eaten by earthworms. Castings are water soluble and immediately available to plant life. Castings do not heat and will not burn plants regardless of the quantity made available to the plant. The action of earthworms in compost piles will speed up the reduction of organic material to one half the time required by bacterial action alone.

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Gardening Tip of the Day

  • Several options are available to overwinter a favorite geranium. The first is to cut it back and pot it up as a houseplant for the winter to replant outside in the spring. The second is to pull it up, brush off any clinging soil, and hang it upside down in a cool, humid basement until replanting in spring. Or, you can cut 4-inch lengths of new stem and put them in water or damp vermiculite to root. Once rooted, transfer to individual pots and treat as houseplants.